Walter Brown "Brownie" McGheeMarch 06, 2012
The music of Walter Brown "Brownie" McGhee (Knoxville, Tenn.) became the epitome of the Piedmont blues style guitar when he started recording in 1938. He began performing regularly at an early age after polio left one leg considerably shorter than the other. He traveled throughout the Southeast with various groups during the 1930s before meeting up with his longtime partner and harmonica player Sonny Terry .The two moved to New York and became good friends with other blues artists of the time, including Huddie Ledbetter ("Leadbelly"). During the 1950s and 1960s, they performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, and had a profound influence on the artists of the folk revival, which was gearing up around the same time. The duo appealed to audiences across racial lines, tapping into that lonesome feeling in all of us. Before his death in 1996, McGhee founded Blues Is Truth, an organization dedicated to the preservation of blues music.